Sports law generally covers parts of the law that govern sporting activities and associations. Sports law does not control the rules within games, this is left up to the internal governing bodies to make rules to enforce for example, FIFA makes the majority of rules and regulations for football.
The common areas of sport law are the licensing of airguns, sports for schools, fishing, coaching, equality and gender differences. While these are not necessarily governed by the government, they do have a role to play.
One area of sports law is the regulations involving airguns. An airgun will be classed as such if it is powered by air and that as a rifle, it must be under 12 foot pounds force. A pistol must be under 6 foot pounds force. If the airgun is anything above these limits, it will be classed as a Section 1 firearm and the owner will need a firearms certificate.
Only those over the age of 18 can buy airguns and ammunition. Anyone over 18 can carry an airgun but it can only be used in certain places. They can also be transported in public as long as they are not loaded and out of view. If you are under the age of 18 but over the age of 14, are able to use an airgun under adult supervision. The same goes for those under 14 but it must be on private property.
Fishing in the UK is also governed by sports law. In the UK, you must have a fishing license if you want to fish. Prices of licenses vary for how long the license lasts; the type of fish the angler wishes to catch and the age of the angler. A fishing license is known as an National Rod License and they can be applied for at the post office and the environmental agency. In the UK there are fishing seasons in place to stop fishing at the time when fish spawn in order to encourage more fish to grow.
Sports in schools have been a very relevant topic in this area recently due to the growing rise in obesity amongst children in the UK. Physical Education (PE) is now compulsory in schools up until the age of 16.
Sports coaches must adhere to certain regulations, most importantly they need to ensure that there is no discrimination on their part. They must also make sure they maintain a professional working relationship with the student, avoiding any inappropriate contact. A coach should not encourage any violations of the rules of the game that they teach. A coach may also not advertise themselves falsely; they must be honest about their level of ability and qualifications in the area that they teach. They must also ensure the safety of their student at all times.
The Equality Act 2010 has been an important landmark in sports law. It states that sports clubs cannot discriminate against someone if they have any kind of disability. Sports clubs must also make reasonable adjustments to their facilities so that they can be accessed by the disabled.
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